Sometimes when I’m writing a book, I love to find a way to make it more
authentic. Like when I recently wrote a rodeo romance, I hopped in my car and
went on a road trip to find a rodeo. With my book GROUNDS FOR SEDUCTION, I
think I went above and beyond for some of the research. My heroine opens an
espresso shop, so I actually signed up, paid for, and attended a class on how to
open your own espresso stand. It almost made me want to ditch the book and go
into coffee! Not really, but it was super informative—plus the Seattle area is a
little inundated with coffee.
I also did another class, which I only signed up for because a friend asked me
to go with her. It was a little shocking, maybe blush-inducing, but I did it.
What was that class? Strippercize. That’s right. How to strip. Are you blushing
yet? Because I did. But it was actually a lot of fun, and a great workout. A lot
of it reminded me of belly dancing. And it ended up working perfectly in a scene
for my book. Here’s an excerpt from GROUNDS FOR SEDUCTION.
Obviously, Gabe was working, because he was dressed in his police uniform. Gun,
badge, tight pants, and all. And, Lord, he looked good in it.
“Don’t you have some bad guys to chase or something?” she queried with false
innocence. “Or if this is your break, shouldn’t you be at the local donut shop?”
“Out to draw blood this morning, aren’t we, Maddie?”
And he still insisted on calling her Maddie. She forced a smile. She might be
trying to get him into bed, but that didn’t mean she had to forgive him for
“Can I get you anything?”
His eyes darkened, and she realized she’d said the same thing to him on Sunday.
And look what it had led to.
“I want to apologize,” he admitted after a moment. “Again.”
“All right.” She gave a slight nod and then her smile widened. “Let me make you
There was a flicker of panic in his eyes and she reveled in it as she started to
prepare the shot for his drink.
“I thought you had some other girl working with you,” he asked, an obvious
attempt to sound casual. “Someone else who was making the drinks?”
“Oh, yeah.” She gestured out the door. “She’s on her lunch and just ran to get
food. But you seemed to like mine on Sunday?”
She’d meant her statement to have a double meaning, and he must have noticed it.
“Well, I sure as hell liked your outfit better on Sunday.” His voice had dropped
an octave as he took a step closer to the counter.
“Aprons are practical.” She added chocolate syrup and the grated chocolate to
the drink. “I’m impressed. I thought I might have scared you off after what
“You kicked me out.”
“You deserved it.” She handed him the mocha. “I made it to go. I’m sure you have
a route to be patrolling or something.”
He took the mocha with a tight smile and reached for his wallet. “How much do I
“It’s on the house.”
“Maddie—Madison,” he corrected. “I just wanted to make sure there weren’t any
hard feelings about Sunday. I mean, I don’t want this to affect my relationship
with you and your family.”
“Oh, it won’t.” She put on her most saccharine smile. “I have no problem with
having you—my brother’s best friend—give me an orgasm. Even if you seem to. And
I have no plans to tell my family about it, either. So, look at that, we’re
He seemed skeptical. “So all is forgiven and forgotten?”
“Yes and no. Yes, you’re forgiven.” Madison stepped out from behind the counter
and took the few remaining steps that separated them. “And, no, nothing’s
forgotten,” she whispered against his ear, pressing herself against him.
“Maddie.” He groaned.
“I see, or feel, that I missed out on quite a bit Sunday.” She stepped back and
smiled. “You are nowhere near being forgotten.”
Madison Phillips is focused on making her
new coffee shop a success. She also wouldn’t mind if the sexiest cop in Seattle,
Gabriel Martinez, would start seeing her as more than just his best friend’s
little sister. When her shop gets robbed and she’s the only one who can identify
the increasingly violent Espresso Bandit, Gabe’s there to keep her safe. Having
Gabe act as her personal bodyguard is certainly no hardship, and Maddy’s ready
to try anything to tempt him into providing some hands-on protection.
Shelli is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author who read her
first romance novel when she snatched it off her mother’s bookshelf at the age
of eleven. One taste and she was forever hooked. It wasn’t until many years
later that she decided to pursue writing stories of her own. By then she
acknowledged the voices in her head didn’t make her crazy, they made her a writer.
Shelli is a true pluviophile (lover of rain) and currently lives in the Pacific
Northwest with her husband and two daughters. She writes various genres of
romance, but is most known for her contemporary series such as Holding Out for a
Hero, The McLaughlins, and A is for Alpha. She’s a compulsive volunteer, and has
been known to spontaneously burst into song.